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EXHIBITION: Worldbuilding


Jeremy Bailey and Kristen D. Schaffer, Eshrat Erfanian, Erin Gee with Alex M. Lee, and Yam Lau with Jonathan Carroll; Curated by John G. Hampton and Maiko Tanaka

03 November – 09 December, 2017
Opening Reception: 03 November 2017, 6-8pm

Visit the WORLDBUILDING website HERE!

Worldbuilding is an exhibition of virtual realities debuting this November at Trinity Square Video (TSV). In early 2015, TSV invited four artists/teams to respond to the philosophical, ethical, and physical conditions of “the virtual” by creating new work using VR technology. Created by artists known for working critically in moving image, interactive technologies, animation, and architectural space, the projects they developed upend the prevailing rhetoric used to promote the VR medium and speculate on the creation of alternate realities.

As new virtual technologies begin to flood the popular consciousness via gaming, experience design, journalism, and healthcare industries, they are accompanied by claims that immersive, 360° and 3D environments create more authentic experiences of “presence”. On the one hand they claim the technology can cultivate real empathy for the experiences of others, and on the other, they enhance the resolution of militaristic ways of seeing and “voyeurism without consequence.”  The artists in Worldbuilding bring a critical eye to this rhetoric emerging alongside the technology. Through the building of alternate versions of the worlds in which popular VR experiences currently exist, the artists exaggerate, undermine, and push the limits, of the claims of VR’s empathetic and experiential potential, in subtle, hilarious and re-embodying ways.

Curated by John G. Hampton and Maiko Tanaka, Worldbuilding invites audiences to experience four virtual installations in an exhibition that plays with the rules of engagement that immersive technologies are designed from. Opening with a reception on November 3rd 2017 at 6pm, the exhibition provides opportunities to hear from the artists and curators themselves with panel presentations on November 4th and December 9th.

This initiative was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, with additional production support provided by AMD.


Preterna by Jeremy Bailey and Kristen D. Schaffer
Preterna is a pregnancy simulator that invites viewers to become a pre, pre parent by virtually inhabiting a pregnant body. Through their vision of a future of families that transcend material constraints and labour, Jeremy Bailey and Kristen D. Schaffer satirize the utopian lifestyles often proselytized by guru tech innovators.

Waiting for Rostam by Eshrat Erfanian
Tehran in 360 presents a series of 360 videos recorded by Eshrat Erfanian as she travelled through Tehran in 2016. The videos bring mundane and everyday images of Tehran into contrast with hyperbolic Western representations of Iran.

Project H.E.A.R.T (Holographic Empathy Attack Robotics Team) by Erin Gee
Erin Gee creates a twist on the archetypical first person shooter war game, replacing the typical war hero protagonist with a cheerleading virtual pop superstar that combats war-zone trauma using biofeedback readings of the player’s emotions.

Out of this World by Yam Lau
In Out of this World, Yam Lau seeks to prolong the moment where, just as one is adjusting to a new virtual environment, the mind and body fall out of sync between the worlds of the virtual and the real. In this amplified disassociated state, he explores the striking parallels between reports of near death experience and the philosophical/experiential implications of such a state.

Worldbuilding Logos